As a young man Michael Varga dreamed about joining the Peace Corps. He realized that dream at age 21,
serving as a volunteer in Chad, Africa. Then war broke out, and Michael was evacuated, leaving a big part of his
heart behind when he left. This love for Chad is reflected in his many works.
Later, Michael became a diplomat serving primarily in hotspots in the Middle East. He served as a Foreign Service
Officer with the U.S. State Department in the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Morocco, and Canada. He worked in
Washington, D.C. in the Economic bureau and as the desk officer for Lebanon when the last American hostages
were released in the 1990s. He was also a Pearson Fellow at the World Trade Center Miami. He holds a Master’s
degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame, a Bachelor’s degree in English from Rider University,
and is a certified teacher.
In 2014, Michael’s short story, “Chad Erupts in Strife” won the Fiction Open, sponsored by Glimmer Train
Magazine. It was published in Issue #95 which was released in November 2015. You can get a copy of Glimmer
Train by visiting the website, http://www.glimmertrain.com/pages/gts_single_issues.php
Michael is a playwright and actor, as well as a writer of fiction. Three of his plays have been produced, and one
published (Payable Upon Return). “Collapsing Into Zimbabwe,” a short story, earned him first prize in the
competition sponsored by the Toronto Star. In 1988, the BBC broadcast his short story, “There Are No
Kangaroos in Egypt,” which he adapted for the stage. The Source Theatre (Washington, D.C.) gave “Kangaroos”
a staged reading in 1991. His columns have appeared in various newspapers and journals. Michael appears in the
Glenn Ford movie, Casablanca Express, where he plays a GI medic. Even now, he can still repeat his lines. For
other works by Michael Varga, click on the links to visit his other pages on this website. He is currently working
on a novel about the Foreign Service. He lives in Florida where he often—even to this day—has Chad on his
|As a vice-consul in Dubai during my first tour in the
U.S. Foreign Service.
Translation of original telegram telling Michael to evacuate:
Originator: ……………………………………………Tom Price Moundou
Receiver: ………………………………………………Michael Varga English Teacher at Baibokoum
Gather your things and find a truck (heading) to Moundou as soon as possible STOP
Philip and I are expecting you in Moundou to evacuate you to Cameroon STOP and END.
Received: the 27th of February 1979 at 10:30 a.m.